Farmers in Malali, Muritaro receive flood relief grant

Malali cash crop farmer, Anjanie Spencer, is one of the many farmers who benefitted on Monday from the government’s flood relief grant.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, spearheaded the distribution exercise in Malali and Muritaro in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, hands over the flood relief grant to this farmer in Malali

Ms. Spencer, described the assistance as timely, as the dry season has commenced, allowing her to immediately return to farming.

“I am very happy for the support. I am glad for it because I had losses. I had many, you know, not much much but it was very helpful, your kitchen garden, you know. You get your things to eat from to make your lil stew and thing. When the flood come up, I had a lot of losses and I am happy. I am going to start as soon as possible, buy a lot of seeds and start fresh again. I am happy for it. Thank God, to God be the glory.”

Farmer and recipient of the flood relief grant, Stella Fleming

Another farmer of Malali, Stella Fleming said, “I would like to say thanks to the Government for doing this, for giving me this grant to do back this farming. I am so happy for him [President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali], for the Government, so that I could do something with this money.

“I could go down in Linden, they have the bora plants they selling, I could buy the bora plants. They got the sweet cassava stick does sell, I could buy the sweet cassava stick with it and so, eddoes plant I could plant back, buy and plant back.”

85-year-old farmer of Muritaro, Alice Fleming

Over at Muritaro, an 85-year-old farmer, Alice Fleming, while commending the Government for the initiative, said the $100,000 she received will be invested to expand her farmland.

“I have no son, he died, my husband died, five years ago. So, I am farming with my daughter on my own to make ends meet. You see, as a farmer you have to sustain yourself. So that’s what I’m trying to do. So, the water destroying everything…but there is God, he is God, he knows everything. So, I’m thankful now that I can expand, I can pay a little labour to expand…So, I’m very happy and thankful for this money it will help us to acquire a better living,” she related.

Farmer and recipient of the flood relief grant, Chris Charter

Chris Carter, another farmer of Muritaro, who also collected $100,000, said, “well, you know, it’s like I didn’t expect it and you know, with so much money, but right now we feel more relieved. We stand up and watched the plants. It was a kind of heartbreak, but at least with the option the government give we, we can get lil fertiliser and even if you have to pay an extra dollar for labour … with this $100,000 you feel like you’re back on your foot again.”

Meanwhile, Minister Edghill told the recipients that the cash grant is not compensation for their losses, but is meant to assist them to return to crop and livestock farming.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, joins the boat to journey to Muritaro

The minister said the government is compassionate and will always assist its people.

“This is our way of saying to you and all the men and women who get out there and plant, reap, transport down to Linden for sale. We understand the waters wipe you but all is not lost. We are giving you a chance to bounce back. This is seed money and as farmers you know when you plant the seed you does get a whole harvest.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP

“Invest it. Get back to your crops, get back to your work. And this is also saying to you, that the government that you support that promised you that they will take care of you is a government that is fulfilling its word.”

The cash grant distribution forms part of a more than $7 billion fund by the Government to assist farmers severely affected by the unprecedented flooding.

Staff of the Ministry of Agriculture verifying the names of the farmers